The lovers, the dreamers and me....

How can it be that two people who have not talked in a while, who are on opposite sides of the country could be thinking about the very same thing at the very same moment and when they connect, they are both shocked and surprised?

That is what happened last night when I called my sweet soul sister and we started talking,  only to find out she has been pondering the teachings of Kermit the frog as well. The lovers the dreamers and me.

I was sitting in the same parking lot I had been sitting in just two weeks earlier crying, stuck in the wash of shame for making a life choice that was good for me but felt more familiar, like a quitter from my past. Only to come to find out that the recent choice led to open space to follow the lovers the dreamers and me, and I stepped right into another piece of my calling.

Now two weeks later no tears but rather giggles and ah ha moments with a dear friend over the phone. We both realized that it is a brain thang, not what we do but how we think, that matters most, as a woman thinks she is.  Two women of faith who are choosing to believe we are forgiven and free and are walking or hopping like our hero Kermi.  We know it's not easy being green but someone has to do it and we both raise our hands and say pick me.   We will be counted as two of the lovers and dreamers.

I will be counted as a women who is not afraid to leap into the life God has created for me. Not forcing my way but letting the wind lead me. Which lands me into deep conversations with soul sisters as I had last night?  It leads me into ice cream trucks, care units and chaplaincy calls. 

I have a choice to sit back and watch or jump into this beautiful crazy messy thing I call my life and I choose to leap in with all I have. I am grateful for that phone call last night, conversation, connections and understanding, needed at just the right time. 

Words of wisdom and encouragement from a friend who shares the same calling to live in the middle of her message, forgiven and set free. Thank you sista you know who you are.  You held sacred space for me last night, not judging me but cheering me on.  Thank you for laughing with me and at me and giving me permission to do the same with the way you responded so beautifully with your words and your silence.  

You are a gift my friend and I truly carry your message with me every time I step into my yes where I only see what's in front of me. Keep telling your story, it helps other lovers, dreamers, and me!

Thank you for letting me share.

These hands are not my own...

These hands are not my own.  I look at my long fingers that seem a little chubby but I think that is just a story I have told myself.  When I look at each finger, nail, palm I do not just see my hands, I see my mothers and grandmothers. 

I sit in my big blue chair in aw as I stare at both hands realizing that they are not my own. My mothers, grandmothers, her mother, her grandmother and so on.  My hands carry generations of women who had stories of struggles, victories, families, hopes and dreams just like me.  A generation who passed down their ability to perserver under pressure while keeping their faith intact.  

Sometimes when I take a glimpse at my hands, I do not see mine but I see those who have gone before me.   Mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, sisters and so forth.  I believe if my hands could talk from voices of my past, with skin that has been shared what I would hear would be “good job Cristina Dolores, follow what your fingers want to do.”

I think the women who have gone before me have left me with stregth, courage and perseverance. 

Not only do I have my mothers side stretching across my palms, I have my fathers side as well and all the women who had worked hard to create businesses so that they could bring their families to this country for a better way of life.

The women from my past, the women whom I have never met and will never meet on this side of eternity have given me the gift of stregth and courage to step into the unknown, to persevere and not give up when the going gets tough. I look at my hands and I realize they are no my own.

Thank you for letting me shares…..

Proud member of the Price/Perez Family heritage
Cristina Dolores Perez-Nole

There is more to a boy....

 “There is more to a boy than what his mother sees.  There is more to a boy then what his father dreams.  Inside every boy lies a heart that beats.  And sometimes it screams, refusing to take defeat.  And sometimes his father’s dreams aren’t big enough, and sometime his mother’s vision isn’t long enough.  And sometimes the boy has to dream his own dreams and break through the clouds with his own sunbeams.”
-Ben Behuni

Last night I went to bed thinking about the fact that my boy will be preparing for his 18th birthday next year at this time.  I wonder how in the world did this happen so fast.  He came into my life early, we were unprepared for his preemie body but we walked by faith as they placed his tiny three-pound body into my arms, only after watching him from a distance for the first three days of his life. 

 How did my tiny little miracle out grow me?  It seems like only yesterday I was changing his diapers, chasing him around the house, singing him to sleep, walking him to school, answering his questions about the moon. Now that boy who once was fighting for life is now fully living his life.  He went from diapers and bottle to legos and trucks.  He graduated to writing, cameras, and creating.  He is a man who does not follow the crowd or conform to this world. 

He has a gentle faith that believes in the best of all and is willing to defend the weak.  He is a teacher a learner and one who loves deeply.  How did this happen?  One day at a time, one moment at a time, my tiny little boy grew into a man.

Dedicated to one of my hero’s Vito Nole

From the moment, I held you I knew God gave you to me to remind me not to take life to seriously.  Keep being you, the world is a better place because you are in it.

Love Your #1 Fan

The More Is In The Mess...

Welcome to my mess. Please come in, pull up a seat and excuse the mounds of over exaggerated experiences.  Yes, I have yet chosen to clean up the scraps, the pieces, the dust, it is all still lingering for all to see.

Why? You ask. The mounds of mess in the middle of those piles are answered prayers. I figured before I found my way through the mess I would look for what I have been searching for.

Just today, I dusted off a corner of the clutter and suddenly appeared courage with a big C. Courage to live in the moment, fold into my feelings and forget about what the world around me thinks. In the middle of the mess is the more I had been looking for all of my life. More meaning, purpose and direction, not to mention peace and possibly even patients to wait in the mess.

Funny, one day I felt the creator whisper to my soul “stop being so quick to clean up." It was an odd encouragement. Stop, look, listen, go through, mingle among the mess was the message I was getting.

With a deep breath and deep faith, I put a halt to my need to clean. I stopped looking at my mess as a mistake and instead received it as a miracle to be unearthed.

Standing before my mess made me uncomfortable. I felt less then, not good enough, irresponsible and lacking any credibility as a responsible adult.  I mean, what would King Lempel’s mother think if she saw me standing before my mound of chaos?

Yet, the more I relaxed into my mess the more the Divine started to refine my way of thinking about who I am and whose I am. It was in those moments that I became comfortable with the mess before me.

Here is the truth. Life is messy.  In addition, my mess is not a sign of weakness or lack of faith or lack of involvement but rather a sign of a life being lived.

The religious rule followers are uncomfortable with my mess. How do I know this? I use to be one of them; I can scout them out a mile away. I based my value in how less a mess I had. I believed it made me a "better" believer, if there is even such a thing.

In reality, it caused me to take my eyes off the eyes of the one who breathed life into my very existence. It caused me to care more about cleaning up then sitting still.  I had years of being told God is a God of order, cleanliness is next to Godliness all of those padded answers that people with good intentions spouted out and I believed.

Do not get me wrong, I do believe that God is about order but first there is a mess.  Look at anything worth creating and you will see creating is messy; order is a by-product of the creation.
One day I came to the realization that true life, the get down and dirty kind of walking in the foot steps of Jesus living is messy, sometimes two or three showers a day kind of messy.  I came to understand that my faith was not calling me to clean up but get up.  My faith was not calling me to look good but rather look for, look at and look up.  
Today I have the privilege of traveling this journey with many amazing messy followers who are constantly asking, “Is there more,” and I gently remind them as I remind myself yes, the more is in the middle of the mess.  More meaning, more purpose, more beauty, look into the middle of your mess with a magnifying glass and you will see that the more you have been looking for has been there all along. 

Thank you for letting me share.

 This article is dedicated to my beautiful baby sister Michelle who is courageous enough to live her life in the middle of her mess.  She is brave, bold and beautiful and one of the strongest women of faith I know.  Keep running your race sis, you know how to mingle in your mess and you inspire others to do the same.